Why Do Teachers Quit?

economy

Teachers don’t just leave their jobs because of low pay and retirement, new research shows. Their perceptions of a broken education system also contribute.

In a trio of studies, education experts examine the relatively new phenomenon of teachers posting their resignation letters online. The findings suggest a nationwide focus on standardized tests, scripted curriculum, and punitive teacher-evaluation systems frustrate and dishearten educators at all grade and experience levels.

In the US, teacher turnover costs more than $2.2 billion each year and decreases student achievement as measured by reading and math test scores.

“I did not feel I was leaving my job. I felt then and feel now that my job left me.”

“The reasons teachers are leaving the profession has little to do with the reasons most frequently touted by education reformers, such as pay or student behavior,” says Alyssa Hadley Dunn, assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University.

“Rather, teachers are leaving largely because oppressive policies and practices are affecting their working conditions and beliefs about themselves and education.”

An example is the open resignation letter of Boston elementary school teacher Suzi Sluyter, which appeared on a Washington Post blog:

“In this disturbing era of testing and data collection in the public schools,” she writes in part, “I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in a classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children.

“I did not feel I was leaving my job. I felt then and feel now that my job left me. It is with deep love and a broken heart that I write this letter,” writes Sluyter, who had taught for more than 25 years.

Such feelings of abandonment were common in the resignation letters, researchers write in one of the studies published in the journal Linguistics and Education.

The second study, published in Teaching and Teacher Education, suggests that by posting their resignation letters online, educators are gaining a voice in the public sphere they didn’t have before. “All of the teachers’ resignation letters and their later interviews [with researchers] attested to the lack of voice and agency that teachers felt in policymaking and implementation,” the study says.

Administrators must allow teachers to engage in the development of curriculum and educational policies so they do not feel like they have no choice but to resign (and then publicly declare it) in order to get their voices heard, Dunn says.

The public resignation letters combat the “teacher blame game” and the prevalent narrative of the “bad” teacher, the third study, published in Teachers College Record, suggests. These common claims—in which teachers are blamed for school and societal failures—are used by conservative education reformers to advance accountability measures to evaluate teachers, Dunn says.

But the resignation letters, rather than painting educators as disinterested and lazy, illustrate their intense emotion. “The letters are filled with emotion, with regret, and with an overarching personal and professional commitment to the best needs of the children,” the study says.

Ultimately, policymakers should heed teachers’ testimonies and support a move away from efforts to “marketize, capitalize, incentivize, and privatize public education, in order to do what is best for children, not for the bottom line,” Dunn says.

“In the absence of such moves, teachers’ working conditions, and thus students’ learning conditions, are likely to remain in jeopardy.”

Source: Michigan State University

Related Books

Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day...No Matter What

economyAuthor: Angela Watson
Binding: Paperback
Studio: Angela Watson
Label: Angela Watson
Publisher: Angela Watson
Manufacturer: Angela Watson

Buy Now
Editorial Review:
Don't wait for teaching to become fun again: plan for it! Unshakeable is a collection of inspiring mindset shifts and practical, teacher-tested ideas for getting more satisfaction from your job. It's an approach that guides you to find your inner drive and intrinsic motivation which no one can take away. Unshakeable will help you incorporate a love of life into your teaching, and a love of teaching into your life. Learn how to tap into what makes your work inherently rewarding and enjoy teaching every day...no matter what.




Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students

economyAuthor: Norman Eng
Binding: Kindle Edition
Format: Kindle eBook

Buy Now
Editorial Review:

Your students aren’t reading. They aren’t engaged in class. Getting them to talk is like pulling teeth.

Whatever the situation, your reality is not meeting your expectations. Change is needed. But who’s got the time?

Or maybe you’re just starting out, and you want to get it right the first time.

If so, Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students is the blueprint. Written for the early career college professor, this easy-to-implement college instruction guide teaches you to:

  • Think like advertisers to understand your target audience—your students
  • Adopt the active learning approach of the best K-12 teachers
  • Write a syllabus that gets noticed and read
  • Develop lessons that stimulate deep engagement
  • Create slide presentations that students can digest
  • Take charge of your college classroom management
  • Get students to do the readings, participate more, and care about your course

Secrets like “focusing on students, not content” and building a “customer” profile of the class will change the way you teach. The author, Dr. Norman Eng, argues that much of these approaches and techniques have been effectively used in marketing and K-12 education, two industries that could greatly improve how college instructors teach.

Find out how to hack the world of higher education instruction and have your course become the standard by which all other courses will be measured against. Whether you are an adjunct, a lecturer, an assistant professor, or even a graduate assistant, effective teaching is within your grasp.

__________________________


“A really useful book for any college professor who wants to move beyond lectures and give students deeper engagement. A practical, easy to read, and important guide for anyone in higher education.”

- Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University, best-selling author of Mathematical Mindsets, and co-founder of YouCubed.org


“This is a terrific collection of tried and true teaching strategies that, unlike most other books on university teaching, is written for the adjunct or contingent university teacher, by someone who's been there. Norman Eng understand the constraints that contingent faculty teach under, and has created a book to help them succeed.”

- Karen Kelsky, best-selling author, founder, and president of The Professor Is In


“A great resource for college instructors who are interested in excellent teaching--accessible, practical, and full of actionable research-based suggestions.”

- Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Education, University of Kansas







Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids: (and the rest of your class, too!)

economyAuthor: Chris Biffle
Binding: Paperback
Studio: Whole Brain Teaching LLC
Label: Whole Brain Teaching LLC
Publisher: Whole Brain Teaching LLC
Manufacturer: Whole Brain Teaching LLC

Buy Now
Editorial Review: Join the teaching revolution that's sweeping the U.S. ... and the world! 150,000 registered members of WholeBrainTeaching.com worldwide: 5,000,000 YouTube views: 15,000,000 pages of free ebooks downloaded from WholeBrainTeaching.com, one of the world's largest, free, education websites! If your rambunctious kids are driving you batty, read this book. Guffaw with delight as your class, guided by the Guff Counter, halts back talking students in their tracks! Weep with joy at the power of the Independents that turns rebel cliques against each other. Gasp in awe as you discover Mirror, the simple technique that makes every lesson magnetically engaging. Chortle with merriment as the magical Scoreboard transforms classroom management into a living video game.

Whole Brain Teaching, a grass roots, education reform movement, begun in 1999 by three Southern California teachers, has attracted an astonishing following among educators across the U.S. and in 30 foreign countries.

Based on cutting edge scientific research, Whole Brain Teaching recognizes that students learn the most when they are engaged in lessons that involve seeing, hearing, doing, speaking and feeling.

Join the revolution! Transform your students from passive receivers of information to dynamic creators of high energy lessons.

"In my 38 years in education, I have never seen a more successful classroom management system than Whole Brain Teaching. It's simple, effective and powerful. Chris Biffle and his colleagues have developed a strategy that works for all students."

Dominic F. Mucci, Superintendent of Schools, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey





economy
enafarzh-CNzh-TWtlfrdehiiditjamsptrues

follow InnerSelf on

google-plus-iconfacebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

follow InnerSelf on

google-plus-iconfacebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}